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Your Vote is Your Voice

10 July 2024 – An Coimisiún Toghcháin, Ireland’s independent electoral commission has today published its detailed plans for research on Ireland’s democracy and on possible areas of reform to enhance elections and democracy in Ireland.

The first of its kind research strategy, identifies a select group of priority research projects for 2024-2026 under 5 thematic strands.

Several projects are already underway such as the National Election and Democracy Study (NEDS) which commenced with the 8 March referendums, while other planned studies will focus on specific topics such the carrying out of constituency reviews; election postering; ballot paper address requirements; reducing the voting age; ballot paper design, amongst others.  This research programme will be delivered in a phased approach across the three years.

In November 2023, An Coimisiún Toghcháin published its first draft Research Programme for public consultation. Following consideration of the 62 public submissions received and input from the Commission’s Research Advisory Group, An Coimisiún has today confirmed its research priorities to the end of 2026.

As provided for in the Electoral Reform Act 2022, these will be reviewed on an annual basis in consultation with the Oireachtas and Government, the Research Advisory Group and other stakeholders.

The 5 thematic research strands are:

  • Strand A: Longitudinal survey research and data collection
  • Strand B: Electoral law, electoral systems and electoral infrastructure
  • Strand C:  Integrity of electoral events
  • Strand D: Education, public engagement and inclusion
  • Strand E: Blue sky/curiosity-driven research

Dr. Mary-Clare O’Sullivan, An Coimisiún Toghcháin’s Head of Electoral Integrity & Research said:

“An Coimisiún Toghcháin has a unique and ground-breaking mandate to explore Ireland’s democracy through in-depth research and data collection. The programme of research we are publishing today will help ensure any future reforms of Ireland’s democracy and electoral rules are evidence-based and informed by international best practice.

“We were really pleased with the quality of the submissions received through the consultation process and we considered them carefully in finalising our research priorities.”


For further information, please contact:

Brian Dawson, Communications and Public Engagement Manager,

An Coimisiún Toghcháin, The Electoral Commission, / 086 0749344

Editor’s Note:

The Research Strategy 2024-2026 is available at the following links:

English Version

Leagan Gaeilge

Research Priorities 2024-2026:

Research Priorities 2024-2026

An Coimisiún Toghcháin:

An Coimisiún Toghcháin, Ireland’s independent Electoral Commission, was established in February 2023 and is responsible for range of existing and new electoral functions, including preparing research programmes, conducting research on electoral policy and procedure, and providing advice, as required, to the Minister and Government.

Specifically, the Electoral Reform Act 2022 mandates An Coimisiún Toghcháin ‘to commission or conduct research on electoral policy and procedures including on matters relating to the discharge of its functions and may arising from that research, make such recommendations to the Minister and the Government as it considers appropriate.’ It also provides that An Coimisiún shall prepare, annually, programmes specifying: ‘the subjects in relation to which it proposes to conduct research…and the objectives of such research; the manner in which such research shall be carried out; and the estimated cost of such research.’